After 2 hours number taking, I can report a brisk trade in the Blackheath Westcombe ward. Turnout is about 10% after 3 hours – pretty good I’d say. My favourite moment was a 16 year old kid taking me to task as the Labour representative; I sadly wasn’t able to debate with him due to Electoral law, as I’d be canvassing within the precinct of the polling station but I really admired his passion.

My companion wasn’t a Tory or Lib-Dem, as they didn’t have anyone doing the job. A policewoman provided good company though – we discussed ASBOs, public drunkenness, reform of the Police, resources, the decline of civic society. I like this aspect of number-taking – you really do get to have conversation you wouldn’t otherwise have with people you wouldn’t normally meet.

One Labour voter told me that it would break his heart to vote Lib Dem, but couldn’t after the war. I knew what he meant, but couldn’t discuss that with him either. A 91 year-old woman voted, walking to the polling station on her own. She apologised for lumbering me with the consequence of a choice she’d not be around to see through to the end; myself and my policewoman companion both chided her pessimism. I thought afterwards that when she was born, women weren’t allowed to vote – a salutary reminder of how modern our own democracy is.

Blog 7